Shamrock Rovers ensured European football will return to Tallaght Stadium next season as they dug out a scoreless draw with Bray Wanderers.
Fifth-placed Sligo Rovers’ defeat to Derry City at the Brandywell earlier in the evening made the result immaterial – Sligo needed to win both their games to stand a chance of overhauling the Hoops – but there was a palpable sense of relief around the stadium as the final whistle blew.
Dean Kelly – who had scored the goal that clinched the title for Rovers at UCD in 2011 – nearly snatched it for Bray with the last kick of the game but couldn't lift the ball over the advancing Barry Murphy.
And it would have been somewhat unfair had either side came out victorious in a game that promised much, with the Seagulls in flying form, but felt flat from the outset.
Visiting striker Ger Pender – who had scored six times in his previous seven games – had the first shot in anger after ten minutes, shooting straight at Murphy from the edge of the box.
And Bray keeper Peter Cherrie was nearly left red-faced when he spilled Simon Madden's cross in his box, but Trevor Clarke wasn't close enough to take advantage for the Hoops.
The first half trundled by largely without incident or excitement, Sean Boyd forcing a decent save from Cherrie with an angled header and Pender again testing Murphy from range.
John Sullivan felt he should have given his side the lead when Karl Moore's cross was allowed find its way to him at the back post, but his close-range shot cannoned back off a Rovers defender.
And Brandon Miele went closest for Rovers when he was played through by Gary McCabe, only to see Cherrie equal to his powerful shot.
Rovers came out stronger after the break and went close to breaking the deadlock as Pat Cregg played in Boyd, who rounded Conor Kenna before firing inches past the far post.
It was to prove Rovers' last real chance of the game as Bray looked the more likely to snatch the win late on.
With ten minutes left , Boyd stopped Kenna's bullet header on the line and scrambled it clear, with referee's assistant Michelle O'Neill unconvinced by his protestation that it had crossed the line.
And substitute Kelly had the opportunity to sour the celebrations of his former club deep into injury time but, having done well to lose Sean Heaney, he couldn't find the finish to match.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; David O'Connor, Sean Heaney, Rob Cornwall; Pat Cregg, Gary McCabe, Trevor Clarke, Brandon Miele (James Doona 90), Simon Madden; Dean Clarke (Luke Kiely 67), Sean Boyd (Aaron Dobbs 82).
Subs not used: Shane Hanney, Darragh Gibbons, Conor Gleeson, Aaron Bolger.
Booked: Rob Cornwall (36), Trevor Clarke (90+3).
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Tim Clancy, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Mark Salmon (Darragh Noone 70), Ryan Brennan (Jason Marks 77), Karl Moore, Dylan Connolly; Ger Pender (Dean Kelly 70).
Subs not used: Lee Steacy (gk), Sean Harding, Paul Finnegan, Chris Lyons.
Booked: Mark Salmon (36), Dylan Connolly (84).
Referee: Sean Grant.
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Brandon Miele (Shamrock Rovers).